I tiptoed into the house a few minutes past my curfew only to find my mama, the craziest, most unrelenting disciplinarian in the world, sitting on the couch. I knew this wouldn’t end well. She looked me up and down, and I began to tremble on the inside. No point trying to hide. I had to be strong. She could sense fear. I took a deep breath and said, “Well, Mama, I’ve got something to show you.” I grabbed my shirt. (I had to act fast so she wouldn’t see my hands shake.) I faced the door. (The better to flee if the remote became a missile.) I pulled up the back of my shirt and revealed a tattoo.
I will not discuss the events immediately following the shirt lifting. Let me just say, it was NOT pleasant. The
child abuse discussion ended with my poor mama shaking her head and saying, “Sister, you’re gonna regret this.”
What?? Whatever…I thought to myself, obviously not outloud…I wanted to survive the night. No way! How could I regret this awesome tattoo? I mean, it’s a butterfly…on my back. It’s so unique. The only other person in the world with a tattoo like this is Britney Spears, and she is an amazing role model for all independent women like myself. She’s from Louisiana, and she’s gonna marry Justin Timberlake! Also, she’s totally sane, & she really seems mature for her age! How could I ever regret anything that so perfectly depicts my transformation from little girl to grown up? (Cue Britney singing, “I’m not a girl… Not yet a woman…”) I am strong, fearless, and I can do what I want… Besides, it looks great with my super low rise jeans. Those will never go out of style. Butterfly tattoo and booty crack jeans… Timeless.
Of course, time passed, and like super low jeans and Britney Spears my butterfly tattoo became something I saw as a silly teenager thing. It was a thoughtless decision, but still kind of cool. It did take guts, right? From time to time I would think about that night and all the things my mama said. I began to understand why she was so upset, but I still didn’t regret getting that tattoo. No harm could come from it, and nobody ever saw it! Until yesterday…
My little girl walked in while I was getting dressed. She looked me up and down, squinted her big innocent eyes, and said, “Mama, why don’t that sticker come off? I like it. I want one.” Oh my goodness, NO!!! Not an ugly tattoo on that beautiful, pure skin! I had no idea what to say. In that moment I wanted nothing more than to punch my eighteen year old self in the face.
Ok, so here goes… I’m going to say the thing no daughter wants to say, ever! Mama was right. Sister does regret it.